iPhone app sees language barriers as opportunities

Potential language barriers have international travelers learning the basics of communication before arriving in a foreign land, just to make their way around. Knowing common terms, even with a limited vocabulary, can go a long way to fulfilling needs. But what about making friends during travel and communicating with them later at home? A new iPhone app has the answer and is available now.

Transfire XP brings the first chat and instant-messaging app with real-time, translated text. The free application features a user-friendly interface, fast message delivery, and supports over 50 languages.

Say for example, your new Argentinian friend, Javier, speaks only Spanish. With Transfire XP, you can now chat with each other in real-time, without any language barrier. Send a message wishing Javier a “Happy Birthday!”, and he will read “Feliz Cumpleaños!” on his phone. Javier then responds, “Gracias,” and you read, “Thank you.””The use of chat applications continues to grow as a replacement for text messaging. Transfire is on it’s way to becoming the gold-standard in instant messaging and translation for your iPhone. We hope Transfire will improve communication barriers on a global scale,” explained Elik Topolosky, co-founder of TNT Creations, Transfire XP’s creator.

The Transfire XP app finds contacts on your local phone or device, and supports contacts from gchat and Yahoo Messenger. Support for more chat platforms will soon be added, including Facebook, ICQ, Baidu and others.

“Transfire isn’t just meant to overcome language barriers; it’s a slick social networking app that sees barriers as opportunities,” adds Jonathan Topolosky, TNT co-founder

Flickr photo by avlxyz

Explore 9-11 app an accurate, interactive story

Coming up in September, New York’s 9/11 Memorial at the site of the former World Trade Center complex in Lower Manhattan will be open to the public. An iPhone app created by the National September 11 Memorial & Museum looks to be a great preview. Featuring a seven-stop walking tour of the area around the World Trade Center, images related to the events of 9/11 along with an interactive time-line of the day’s events and aftermath, the Explore 9/11 app tells an accurate, interactive story.

A seven-stop walking tour of the area around the World Trade Center, accompanied by audio and photo narration tells events of the day and its aftermath by first responders, rescue workers, volunteers, and those who lived and worked in Lower Manhattan on 9/11. While the walking tour takes place in Lower Manhattan, the tour content is accessible to users anywhere.

Images related to the events of 9/11 and their aftermath relate to wherever users happen to be in the area. Photos may be viewed in Augmented Reality-technology mode which overlays images on the camera view. All photos were contributed to the museum through 911history.org, a collection of stories, videos, and photos submitted by people who experienced 9/11 charged to remember and honor the thousands of innocent men, women, and children murdered by terrorists in the attacks of February 26, 1993 and September 11, 2001.
The Explore 9 11 app also features an interactive timeline of the day’s events and aftermath including links to witness photos taken during these time blocks.

The app can operate in an offline mode for non-U.S. visitors who have disabled data roaming. In this mode, all tour content is still accessible. The app includes a map of free WiFi hotspots near the tour route for downloading “Explore” photos from the vicinity.

For more information on the 9/11 Memorial visit 911memorial.org.

September 11 Memorial distributes more than 24,000 passes in first day

As we mentioned yesterday, the National September 11 Memorial & Museum started handing out free passes on Monday in anticipation of their opening to the public on September 12. Everyone anticipated a huge response, and there certainly was one. In just the first few hours that tickets were available, 24,000 were been handed out. Figures for the whole day are not yet available.

The memorial in New York City will open for a private ceremony for the victims’ families this September 11, the tenth anniversary of the attacks.

While the 9/11 memorial is free, because of high demand and limited space within the grounds, tickets must be reserved in advance for a particular entry date and time. Once inside, visitors may stay as long as they like, so this could mean slow lines. You can reserve your tickets online.

[Photo courtesy National Park Service]

New apps available for National Park Week and beyond

We have been talking about National Park Week here at Gadling recently, offering information about free admission during the week, Nat Geo bringing national park maps to iPhone and iPad and even a story about a photographer who visited all the parks and lived to tell about it. Today, we have a couple other apps for you to add to your collection.

Chimani, LLC announced today that all iPhone national park apps will be free during National Park Week, April 16-24.

The Chimani suite of national park apps include Acadia National Park, Cape Cod National Seashore, Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Grand Canyon National Park and Yosemite National Park.

“Entrance to the national parks is free, and so too should our apps”, says Chimani President, Kerry Gallivan. “Chimani develops apps for national parks because they are special – and we want to encourage as many people as possible to get out and enjoy them.”

The Android versions of each national park app will be available for only $.99 cents. The Chimani national park apps normally sell for between $4.99-$9.99 each.

The National Parks Conservation Association also has a free iPhone app called the National Parks Field Guide that looks to be extensive. We featured this one last October which includes includes bird portraits, call recordings, information about endangered and poisonous species, range maps, and wildlife. Users will also find current news about each park, access and visitor information, and directions to park visitor centers.

Related Stories

Flickr photo by Alaskan Dude

Renaissance Hotels releases Navigator App

I like Renaissance Hotels. Although I tend to stay away from big hotel chains, I like Renaissance because it’s a boutique line and every hotel of theirs is different from the others. Another thing I like about Renaissance? They have Navigators in place of the traditional concierge.

Renaissance Navigators are, in short, employees who are locals and in the know. I once walked into the Renaissance Pere Marquette in New Orleans and picked the brain of a Navigator on staff. I liked his recommendations. As a point of reference, I own TheAntiTourist. I don’t like being shooed off in the direction of obvious tourist spots and this particular Navigator gave me a run for my money with his list of off-the-beaten-path things I might like to do.

Why is this useful information for you? Because Renaissance recently released the Navigator app. And it’s free for the taking for iPhone, iTouch, and iPad users until February 28th if you use the code ‘intheknow’ on iTunes. So look it up. Take it. See how you like it. And then let us know.